Smart Parka on Track for Release this Fall

Smart Parka by North Aware

Manufacturers of insulated jackets now generally include a pocket for your smartphone, but a pocket for a tablet is rare. Likewise, parkas traditionally focus on the jacket’s warmth and leave gloves, hats and scarves to third parties. The Smart Parka looks to be on track to change all that, now that its Kickstarter campaign has blasted past its fundraising goal.

Startup company North Aware had what seemed like a crazy idea: a parka with enough pockets for all of your smart devices, plus embedded gloves, scarf and a place to store your hat. Wild though it sounded, the concept has proved popular among the crowd-funding scene. The Smart Parka now sits at a hair north of $1 million USD from committed backers. The original goal of the Smart Parka maker was just over $21,000.

All told, the Smart Parka has built-in gloves that allow users to operate touch devices, a built-in scarf, tech pockets for smart phones and tablets, a length extension, removable lining for two different temperature ranges and a hat pocket. I’ve been incredibly impressed with the insulation and pocket count of the Fjallraven Kyl Parka, and United By Blue’s Ultimate American Jacket seems to share some features with the Smart Parka. But having them all, plus the embedded gloves and scarf, is unique.

Having shot past its funding goal, the Smart Parka is slated for delivery in August 2016, just in time for fall outings.

Like the Ultimate American Jacket, the Smart Parka includes two layers. The outer layer can be worn in normal winter temperatures in most parts of North America, while the inner lining can be attached in super-cold weather. As for insulation, the outer shell uses “a proprietary synthetic insulation,” with white duck down (10% feather) in the inner lining.

According to North Aware, the synthetic insulation in the outer shell is designed to protect the inner duck down, while absorbs moisture and loses many of its insulating properties when wet. However, North Aware says the outer shell is “water resistant” rather than “water proof.” That’s definitely worth noting for those of us in wet climates. So, too, is the fact that the Smart Parka is dry clean only.

Jonas Allen

Jonas spent 17 years covering travel, technology and entertainment for regional and international media. He now writes about gear, clothes and tips to stay warm. He hopes his lessons will help other people who get cold (re)discover the great outdoors.

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